Italy, the UK and France, which are not as developed as Germany and other markets for Esprit Holdings, had turnover increases of 59, 36 and 29 percent respectively in the 1st half ended Dec. 31. Overall, the fashion retailer’s European sales rose by 12.4 percent to HK9,997.5 million (€1,083.1m-$1,288.2m) and represented 84.5 percent of the group’s turnover. In total, Esprit’s turnover grew by 18 percent in local currencies to HK11,825.6 million (€1,281.1m-$1,523.7m). The group’s operating profit (EBIT) was up by 13.6 percent to represent 20.4 percent of net turnover. Net profit increased by 15.7 percent to HK1,872.9 million (€203.0m-$241.3m). Moving forward, the group plans to open more than 500 new wholesale accounts and about 40 directly managed retail stores around the world. It is planning to open a new type of shop corner dedicated to leathergoods and small accessories, starting at 16 square meters, at about 50 locations in Europe this year.